2008 Fall Newsletter (extract)

Obstacle on the trail…

In this second week of December 2007, snow was already quite present at the lake St-François-Xavier. After having taken the small path at the bottom of the Bay for a short visit at my cottage, closed for winter, I was coming back by the aerobic corridor (rue du Chemin de fer), skying towards the church of Montfort. Over there, I had left my car and hoped to meet my brother who had ideas of joining me.

I had now to take or go along the main road towards the parking of the “pavilion”, less than a hundred feet further. It is perpendicular to the corridor but, now standing several feet below, trenched in this plateau of snow. I decided to remain on the snowdrift left by the plough on the side of the road. To remove my skis to go down on the roadway appeared tiresome to me since I had not finished my tour. With the difficulty I have to snap them on, one think it is quite comprehensible.

The snowdrift bordering rue Principale had a nice slope ending at the parking of the church and I had only to let me slip until I reach the bottom. Obviously, several had used the same path before me. But here are a line of shrubs, so aligned on the side of the way. They were exceeding the top of the drift from one meter. They were aligned between the two traces of ski left by the predecessors, suggesting me thinking it twice before going on. I do not know which funny or awkward had traced the way. The multiple branches wanted to be obliging and the operation was successful without damage.

Reassure with my first pass through, I took again this track back after having noted that my brother’s car was not in the parking and that he must had change his plans. Lightened from my rucksack, left to my car, I wanted to return to the aerobic corridor direction Morin-Heights this time, a more interesting section.

I was always on my skis and the slope had to be gone up; the shrubs were always there. This wasn’t the same story; obviously, the shrubs did not like to be taken with grain-hair and I could hardly make it through. I had almost made my way when I saw a skier, appearing to me older, downwards on the road, with his skis in his arms. He looked at me in an anxious and astonished way so that I had to confess to him that I had perhaps not chosen the best solution. I added that I took guard well, despite everything, not to damage nature… 

He agreed. I cannot remember if I had nevertheless to remove my skis any more to cross the road and to join the other section of the corridor. He was on the track of Morin-Heights before me, and then had stopped for some adjustment with its unit. At a moment of slipping on the back of his skis, I launched to him that there were many people “in the way” (we were alone)… He hardly spent time to restart. Happy with my intervention, I continued to advance, gone into ecstasies over the landscape.

There was, downwards on my left, with an unevenness of about sixty meters I believe, the superb lake Chevreuil. Two minutes of contemplation hardly but when I looked again in front, “the old” skier had already disappeared with the distance… I accelerated and went alongside this lake until the end; but I never saw my man again. The wind had also used Lake Chevreuil on a good two or three kilometre as a corridor. It was waiting for me in the turning, probably in revenge of having been unnecessarily keen against the one which I pursued. It forced me to take again the direction of Montfort and the way back home.

Back to la Principale, I withdrew my skis and… went down from the slope without hesitating to return to my car! After having drive a few kilometres, it came to my spirit that I had forgotten to take the circulars in my news limps postal. I turned back to go to gather a thin harvest. I passed by again in front of the church without making a prayer there this time and slipped by towards Montreal.

It was necessary for me still to calculate to cross without encumbers the stopping of firemen who, regularly, block the lights with the red and bar the road at Morin-Heights, while putting their helmet upward for the good cause. Operation which I find as disproportionate as dangerous and that makes me …spitting flames! They can amount lucky that my brother finally did not pass by there!

Carl Chapdelaine